His mastery over
his material is complete and his characters leap to life from
the pages. THE HINDU
Echoes of brilliant passages linger on in the reader's mind. THE
ENDURING AFFAIRS is the story of two young men- Dexter
Franklin Prescott III, an American, and Chellapthimalai Venugopalan
Jagan, known for convenience's sake as Charlie V. an Indian. Both
were born on the same day, both come from aristocratic backgrounds,
are handsome and athletically built, and they become fast friends
when they room together as graduate students in a college town
in the U.S.
They experience post-adolescent pleasures and pains together,
except Dex, rooted in his culture, is able to find girls easily
enough, while Charlie V goes through an agonising period, trying
to find a girl with whom he can experience what at that point
seems the necessary and ultimate triumph of young manhood. In
the event a slightly older woman takes him by the hand and initiates
him into the rites of passage. At some point, without giving any
explanation, Charlie V abruptly returns to India. Why is not revealed
until towards the end.
When the novel opens - it is now many years later- we see Charlie
V as the Home Minister and the number two man in the cabinet of
the Tamil Nadu government. Mr Murari tells his story very well
indeed, and has the reader following him breathlessly. By putting
his heroes in the U.S. during the Kennedy era, he effortlessly
captures the idealism of the young during that period, by involving
them in the constructive turmoil of the times - for instance the
drive for the registration of black voters.
Dex and Charlie V go through some hair-raising experiences of
the kind one knows historically happened to many Americans. He
is equally facile when he lets Charlie V grow 25 years older and
throws him into the vortex of Indian politics. It would be easy
to get peeved with Mr Murari for the brutally honest fashion he
describes the politics of the country, and the hoodlums who manipulate
affairs but one would have to accept that it is faithful, if unpleasant
picture that he paints.
His style is ranges easily from the racy to the sombre. His mastery
over his material is complete and his characters leap to life
from the pages. It does seem that Mr Murari is writing essentially
for an American audience rather than for an Indian one. His use
of American scatology is liable to leave an Indian reader rather
bewildered. Actually, it does not particularly matter, since no
Indian novel in English seems to be looked at except from the
point of view of its Indianness and Murari can shake things up.'
-'The strength of the book lies in the complicated plot, impeccable
language and interesting style of the narrative. Echoes of brilliant
passages linger on in the reader's mind as enduring images which
qualifies 'Enduring Affairs' as an entertaining novel of high
readability.' -THE CHRONICLE.
-'the novel further sustains
his reputation as a writer of substance'. SUNDAY MAIL.